Smartphones have become our constant companions, and the more we rely on them to stay informed and connected, the more important it is that our devices stay energized. Various saving life tips, apps and portable chargers for android and iPhones have a difference for longer lifespans, faster charges and improved capacity. But here come the innovations that could make keeping charged a lot easier.
A Two-Week Charge
Fuji Pigment recently unveiled a new type of aluminum-air battery capable of keeping its charge for an impressive 14 days. It has 40 times the theoretical capacity of lithium-ion and can be charged by being refilled with water — either salt or tap will do. And the materials used to construct the battery are safe, abundant and relatively inexpensive to produce.
The catch? Fuji Pigment is preparing to commercialize this technology for electric cars first, with a goal to have prototypes on the road by next year. If the new “al-air” battery proves successful, mobile phones would be next inline to adopt the technology.
Zero to Capacity in 60 Seconds
Created with chemically-synthesized organic molecules, Israeli start-up StoreDot has developed an antidote — a high-speed, next-generation mobile phone battery capable of going from dead to full-charge in one minute. And this increases the battery’s lifespan. Lithium-ion batteries can only withstand about 500 charge cycles, but StoreDot’s model would be able to endure thousands of charges and last for years before wearing down.
But there’s a caveat to this innovation, as well. While the battery’s overall lifespan is increased, the length of time that it can hold a charge is not. In fact, the prototype actually loses power faster than conventional lithium-ion batteries.
Here Comes the Sun
In addition to being environmentally friendly, solar-power technology has the potential to become a major battery booster in the next few years. The Japanese mobile company Kyocera, in a partnership with French firm SunPartner Technologies, has created a smartphone prototype with an ultra-thin, solar crystal panel built into the touchscreen. This panel soaks up sunlight and artificial light when indoors, converts it to energy, and feeds that power to the phone’s battery.
While not intended to serve as the sole method for charging, with ten minutes of sunlight, you can get 100 minutes standby gain, which could also be about two minutes of additional talk time. Kyocera and SunPartner hope to bring the prototype to market by 2017.
To make widespread wireless charging a reality, uBeam uses ultrasound to transmit electricity from a thin charging station to a small receiver attached to the device needing a charge. Anytime that device is in range of the uBeam station, it’s receiving power — giving your smartphone, laptop or wearable access to a continuous power supply.
The downside is that uBeam is unable to transfer power through walls, so in order to charge, the device has to be in the same room as the charging station. But if founder Meredith Perry is successful, uBeam units will be available in a wide variety of locations, such as restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels, and any smartphone outfitted with the receiving device will be able to benefit.
Source: Verizon Wireless